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New Apex segment entry Samarkand (SMK) has got off to a strong start. At one point, shares were changing hands at 142p, against the placing price of 115p, but they ended the week at 123.5p (120p/127p). There was £15.4m raised after expenses. The company has developed e-commerce software technology known as Nomad. There are a number of modules and these can be used by clients to sell their products in China. There are 105 special cross-border e-commerce zones in China. This market is expected to reach £138bn in 2021. Samarkand also sells its own brands in China and some of the money raised will be used to buy other brands.
Incanthera (INC) has raised £1.14m at 12p a share. This will provide enough cash until the middle of 2022. There are discussions ongoing with two potential partners for the Sol skin cancer prevention product.
Imperial X (IMPP) has announced its intention to gain a standard listing and raise up to £1.5m. The company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a £40m investment from Equitix Investment Management. In return the freehold of the South Wales centre will be transferred and there will be other security. There will be an initial investment of £25m with the rest paid in three equal instalments. The cash will be used for investing in infrastructure. The current debt of £18.6m will be repaid.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) generated flat operating income of £72.5m, while there was a £1.1m loss. Management is optimistic about a strong rebound if the government continues with its current roadmap out of lockdown. There is a growing demand for lending.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had NAV of 57.97p a share at the end of February 2021. That is before the sale of the investment in Anthesis for £1.15m. That leaves the company with £2.64m in cash.
In the first 18 days of March Bin 1301, a bar in Washington DC where Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has a stake, generated sales of $35,330, nearly double the same time the previous year. That is despite Covid restrictions.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed A and S International as a distributor of lubrication and bioremediation products.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had an NAV of 437.63p a share at the end of January 2021, which was a 38% increase on the year before thanks to the strong performance of the Luceco (LUCE) share price. EPE is considering raising more cash through a loan note issue. That would provide further cash for investment.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has secured a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of a rare earths mining project in Mozambique. The plaln is to buy 70% of the Monte Muambe rare earths project, via an earn-in.
First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to Block Commodities (BLCC) after less than one month in the position. Block has entered into an option in partnership with Century Cobalt Corporation to acquire two million seeds, which can be used to produce medicinal grade cannabis. Block would have to issue more than 142.8 million shares at 0.07p each if the option is taken up.
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (WENP) from 15.2% to 17.2%.
Upper Thames Holdings has changed its name to Valereum Blockchain (VLRM).
S-Ventures (SVEN) has applied for an OTCQB quotation in the US.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that Chronocourt, also known as Efmody could gain approval in the EU by the summer and that could enable a commercial launch in some European markets in the third quarter. Chronocourt/Efmody is a modified release hydrocortisone used to treat adult and adolescent patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is caused by a block in cortisol production. Potential sales are greater than for Alkindi, which is aimed at children.
A potential management buyout for Cambria Automobiles (LON: CAMB) at 80p a share would value the motor dealer at £80m. This is a premium of more than one-fifth to the previous market price.
Digital healthcare company Cambridge Cognition (COG) substantially reduced its loss in 2020 and is on course to move into profit this year. Revenues increased and expenses were reduced. There is a strong order book. There was £3m in the bank at the end of 2020. Voice-based service NeuroVocalix is set to be launched this year.
Cyber security firm ECSC (ECSC) grew recurring revenues by 22% to £2.4m last year. Even so, total revenues fell 4% to £5.7m due to a tough second quarter. The loss fell from £639,000 to £153,000. Net cash is £1.1m. There has been a good start to the new year with a clutch of contract wins.
STM Group (STM) has sold its trust and company services business for £2.45m plus net assets at completion of around £570,000. This has been non-core for some time. This will reduce short-term earnings – although there could be some cost savings – but the company can focus on pension administration and life assurance.
Judges Scientific (JDG) continued its record of increasing the ongoing dividend with a 10% increase to 55p a share. Pre-tax profit fell from £17m to £13.7m in 2020 and it could recover to £16m this year.
MJ Hudson (MJH) managed organic revenue growth of 3.6% in the first half, even though there was a lack of new fund launches. Cross-selling is paying off. The North American operations are more significant following recent acquisitions. Further acquisitions will help to increase the scale of the business.
Chariot Oil and Gas (CHAR) is acquiring AEMP, an African renewable energy developer, for up to $2m. There are discussions with mine operators that require 500MW of electricity.
Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) almost maintained its pre-tax profit last year thanks to strong sales to the footwear sector. Revenues were 2% ahead at £82.7m, but pre-tax profit was 5% lower at £8.3m. The final dividend is 4.27p a share. The new factory in Poland has started production and capital investment should be lower this year. Net debt was £35.6m at the end of 2020 and this figure should fall this year. This year pre-tax profit should improve to £9.3m.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) more than doubled 2020 pre-tax profit from £15.8m to £34m, even though revenues barely increased. Margins improved significantly, but there is still potential to improve LED operating margins. A strong second half offset the more difficult first half. The dividend is 6.2p a share. Net debt has fallen to £18.3m.
Oxilio has decided to exercise its option with drug developer Nuformix (NFX) to licence NXP001 for oncology indications. A licence agreement is being worked on. Once completed it will trigger a second upfront payment. Future royalties for any commercial treatments are capped at £2m a year.
Books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) reported a dip in revenues from $135.8m to $126.9m, while adjusted pre-tax profit improved from $5.1m to $7.9m. Capitalised development costs were reduced from $23.8m to $20.3m, although the amortisation charge was higher at $28.6m. Strong cash flow combined with a share issue helped reduce net debt from $50.5m to $19.7m.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) is moving into the flexible power sector. A 50%-owned joint venture called HKSB will develop two 11KV gas peaking facilities that will produce 10MW for a total cost of £6.25m. The plan is to secure 15-year, CPI-linked contracts for each site.
Residential property developer One Heritage Group (OHG) had net assets of 9.25p a share at the end of 2020. There was an interim loss.
Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.
World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.
Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.
Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).
Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.
VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.
K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.
Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.
Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.
Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.
Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.
CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.
Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.
Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.
Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.
Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.
Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.
Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.
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Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has been profitable since the beginning of July when pubs were allowed to reopen. However, like-for-like sales were lower, particularly in city centres. Own brand beer volumes fell by 2%. Net debt was £82.4m on 26 September, with deferred payments of £6.9m.
There was a reduction in full year revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) from £22.8m to £21.6m. Earnings per share halved to 4.7p.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has an exclusive 45-day option to acquire 100% of mineral tenements in the Patersons Range region of Western Australia. The option payment is £50,000. A dividend of 1.25p a share is proposed.
In the year to April 2020, property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 26% to £6.39m. Pre-tax profit was £9,252, including a lease breakage fee of £173,000. There were £800,000 of fair value reductions. Net cash generated by operating activities was £1.88m. Since the year end, £3.14m has been spent on properties.
British Honey Company (BHC) generated revenues of £1.04m in the five months to August 2020, with £500,000 from sanitiser. More recently alcohol sales have recovered, and sanitiser generates around 10% of sales. There was a £435,000 loss in the period because of higher admin expenses.
VI Mining (VIM) is terminating the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen project acquisitions. Unpaid deferred consideration of $42.2m has bee cancelled. A joint venture is being discussed for other group projects.
Good Energy (GOOD) has launched the UK’s first dedicated heat pump tariff. There is no standing charge in the winter months.
European Lithium (EUR) intends to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange on 6 November.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Imperial X (IMPP).
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £94,000 at 0.5p a share.
Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is involved with the initial UK-RTC order for one million Covid-19 rapid antibody tests. Omega is set to manufacture 175,000 of these tests. This is the first order and Omega plans to increase capacity to 200,000 tests per week by the beginning of November. finnCap believes each test could generate 150p and the gross margin is 50%. The current revenue forecast of £12.6m for the year to March 2021 does not include the Covid-19 tests which could generate a further £5.7m. Omega should be profitable without any contribution from the tests.
Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Yorkshire-based freight business Nidd Transport for £4.6m. The owner is retiring, and the purchase price is covered by Nidd’s cash and property assets -where there is already an agreement for a sale and leaseback. The deal is earnings enhancing. The logistics business does not have a significant presence in northern England and there will be cross-selling opportunities with other parts of the business. Nidd also has operations in France, Spain and Portugal. In the year to April 2020, Nidd made and operating profit of £500,000 on revenues of £11m.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) has raised £7.5m after expenses at 60p a share and there is an open offer to raise up to £2m.
Plutus PowerGen (PPG) plans to demerge its generation assets and become a cash shell. A placing at 0.02p a share will raise £490,000 after expenses and this will pay money owed to directors and provide working capital. Debt of £266,000 will be capitalised. Plutus tried to sell its co-investee assets but there was no buyer found. Plutus Energy is being demerged and there are plans to demerge the Plutus energy investment portfolio, but this is currently being blocked by Rockpool.
Vanadium flow batteries developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is involved in four energy storage products funded by the California Energy Commission. These total 7.8MWh of batteries and they should be delivered next year. Commercial terms are still be agreed with partners. This follows a £1.1m order during June.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased third quarter crude palm oil produced by 10% to 5,280MT, thanks to a higher extraction rate. The cashew nut processing plant should still be commissioned next spring.
Caledonia Mining (CMCL) has increased 2020 guidance following third quarter figures showing gold production of 15,200 ounces and nine-month production of 42,900 ounces. Full year guidance is between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces. Caledonia has secured an agreement with the Zimbabwe government that will enable it to assess other gold projects. A solar plant is being built that will provide 27% of the electricity needs of the Blanket mine.
Fintech firm Mode Global Holdings (MODE) joined the standard list on 5 October. Mode raised £7.5m in a placing at 50p a share. Trading commenced. The share price has fallen back to 48.5p. The cash will help to finance the launch of a payments service powered by Open Banking that would replace the need for cards.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) had net cash of £1m at the end of September 2020 and it intends to pay a final dividend. Pre-tax profit of £14m is in line with pre-Covid-19 expectations. Health and wellness revenues grew by 16%, although total revenues fell by 3% due to the lower orange oil prices.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) plans to acquire the two data centres in Quebec housing its cryptocurrency mining equipment that are owned by GPU.one. September mining revenues were £1.1m.
BATM (BVC) has secured an initial order for its Covid-19 Real-Time PCR diagnostic test kits and they will be delivered in the fourth quarter.
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Wine and beer maker Chapel Down (CDGP) made a similar interim loss this year. Wine revenues were one-fifth ahead even though sales were lost in pubs and the company’s own retail site. Online sales offset those declines. Wine stocks have increased by one-third to £11m. Beer and cider sales fell by 38% and gross profit slump by 59%. There was £5.83m in cash at the end of June 2020.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported an increase in interim revenues from £109,000 to £140,000. Reversal of impairments and unrealised gains helped to generate a pre-tax profit of £27,000, down from £242,000 because of lower unrealised gains. NAV was £2.52m, including cash of £129,000, at the end of June 2020. Since then, there has been an increase in the value of cryptocurrency and tokens held by the company.
Western Selection (WESP) has sold its stake in AIM-quoted Brand Architekts (BAR) and raised £1.43m at 109.78p a share. The shares were valued at £1.63m in the recent balance sheet. Peter Gyllenhammr increased his stake in Brand Architekts from 6.1% to 10.5%.
KR1 (KR1) reported an interim pre-tax profit of £522,000, including an unrealised gain of £711,000. The NAV was 6.18p a share at the end of June 2020. The latest digital asset investment is $100,000 in the Moonbeam Network project. This is a smart contract platform and KR1 will receive Glimmer tokens that will power Moonbeam’s blockchain.
Incanthera (INC) has announced positive data for a skin sensitisation study for skin cancer technology Sol. This shows it to be non-irritant. ImmuPharma has subscribed £250,000 for shares at 9.5p each. That takes the stake to 15.3%. A total of £350,000 was raised with directors subscribing for the other £100,000.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) has an NAV of 125p a share, compared with a share price of 87.5p (85p/90p). There was a swing from interim profit to loss.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £58,000 in gold explorer Angold Resources, subject to its reversal into ZTR Acquisition, which was formerly Oyster Oil and Gas, where Gunsynd already has a stake.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the £1.43m acquisition of a property in Scarborough leased to Skipton Building Society. It has exchanged contracts on a Carlisle property costing £1.71m.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that processing rates at the Hellyer gold mine have increased to 165 tonnes per hour. The average annualised production rate was 1.23Mtpa in July and August.
Gowin New Energy Group (GWIN) says it is near to appointing a new corporate adviser so that trading can resume in the shares. Management is working towards launching a tea business.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £1m in construction payments software company Zuuse. Thi is part of a £2.2m fundraising to pay for a transaction expected in the next few weeks. Primorus already owned shares and warrants in Zuuse, so it owns 1.7% of fully diluted share capital. Primorus has sold six million Greatland Gold (GGP) shares at an average price of 14.8p each. That leaves Primorus with 20 million Greatland shares.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 51.53p a share at the end of May 2020.
IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) says that business is recovering and it continues to be profitable and cash generative.
Eurocann International (BUD) is changing its name to DiscovOre (ORE) and the investing strategy broadened to include natural resources as well as cannabis-related activities.
SativaWellness Group Inc (SWEL) has been readmitted to the AQSE growth market following the reverse takeover of the company.
Avingtrans (AVG) improved its 2019-20 pre-tax profit from £5.3m to £5.9m despite loss contributions from recent acquisitions. One of those acquisitions, Booth Industries, has won a £36m doors contract for HS2. finnCap forecasts a 2020-21 pre-tax profit of £7.3m and Avingtrans is likely to reinstate the dividend.
Demand for the type of data erasure and cyber security services provided by Blancco (BLTG) remains strong, although April and May were tough. In the year to June 2020, revenues improved from £30.5m to £33.4m, helped by acquisitions. Pre-tax profit grew from £3m to £3.9m. Investec expects further profit improvement to £4.3m this year, but it will be second half weighted.
Geospatial services provider 1Spatial (SPA) reported an 8% rise in interim revenues to £11.7m, although the core business revenues made up a greater proportion of the total. There was an interim loss but positive operating cashflow of £1.7m. Net cash was £3.4m. 1Spatial could make a small full year profit.
Grant Thornton has decided to settle litigation with AssetCo (ASTO) rather than appeal the court judgement. This means that AssetCo can access the £28.6m lodged with the court plus the balance of money owed by Grant Thornton. Once this is received, AssetCo will have cash of £55m and net assets of around £52m. The market capitalisation already takes this into account.
The FDA has approved adrenal treatment Alkindi in the US and Diurnal (DNL) should receive a $2.5m milestone payment from distributor Eaton pharmaceuticals when sales start next year. That is on top of licence income. That means that Diurnal’s cash will last longer.
New Trend Lifestyle Group (NTLG) changes its name to Conduity Capital (CCAP) on 5 October. The former activities have been sold and Conduity becomes a shell.
Erris Resources (ERIS) plans to buy a 50% stake in Zinnwald lithium project owner Deutsche Lithium from Bacanora Lithium (BCN) in exchange for shares and a net profit royalty.
Yu Group (YU.) reported a decline in first half revenues from £56.6m to £45.9m due to lower energy consumption by its commercial energy customers. There was a lower loss in the period but reduced working capital requirements meant that there was a significant cash inflow from operating activities. There was £17.9m in the bank at the end of June 2020. Management has invested in marketing in order to win new business.
Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) is launching its first AI software product alongside GE Healthcare. GE has 480,000 ultrasound machines in use and the AI software will be integrated in a range of women’s health ultrasound machines. It could be rolled out across other machines in the future.
M and C Saatchi (SAA) has failed to publish its results and trading in the shares has been suspended. Windar Photonics (WHPO), Clear Leisure (CLP), Malvern International (MLVN), Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) and Hydrodec (HYR) have had share trading suspended for the same reason. The acquisition of Bristol Energy customers will boost scale and help Yu to move towards profitability.
Car finance provider S and U (SUS) generated revenues of £42.8m in the six months to July 2020. That was a 3% decline, but the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown will be greater in the second half. Net receivables were down by 6% to £281.9m, but new loan volumes fell by one-third in the first half. Bad debt provisions were increased by £13.8m to £21.7m and this led pre-tax profit to slump from £17.1m to £6.3m. The property bridging loan business made a lower profit contribution, although the market has subsequently inproved. Even so, a dividend of 22p a share was announced, down from 34p a share.
Guild Esports (GILD) raised £20m at 8p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8.15p.
Mining shell Critical Metals (CRTM) joined the standard list on 29 September. The placing price was 5p and the price was 5.5p at the end of the week.
Toople (TOOP) is on course to achieve £1.6m of annualised cost savings from integrating DMSL. The focus is on margin rather than just growing revenues.
Ross Group (RGP) reported a reduced loss of £830,000, down from £3.15m, in the first half of 2020. There were no revenues, but the company is trying to build up supply chain operations.
InnovaDerma (IDP) reported full year figures in line with its trading statement in July. The skincare products supplier slumped into loss due to higher marketing costs. There was cash of £1.2m at the end of June 2020.
Newspaper publishing consolidator National World (NWOR) had £4.31m in the bank at the end of June 2020. It is still evaluating acquisition opportunities.
NEX and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says that there has been an increase in the level of confidence in its markets since the General Election. That was too late to have much effect on the 2019 results, but full year pre-tax profit will be at the upper end of expectations. Last year, customer loan balances rose by 31% and deposits by 22%.
Sativa Group (SATI) says that it welcomes the guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the safe use of CBD products and the timetable for novel food authorisation. Management points out that Sativa’s products do not include THC. Sativa expects to report 2019 gross profit slightly higher than expectations on lower than marginally lower than expected. Goodbody Wellness has piloted three retail stores, but they did not perform as well as expected. PhytoVista Laboratories has completed more than 3,000 tests on cannabis-based products. That includes Sativa’s own products and a new sports range is near launch. Medicinal cannabis-based development is focused on veterinary treatments.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has increased its NAV by 55% to 317.2p a share following a strong performance by Whittard of Chelsea and a recovery in the share price of fully listed Luceco. Pharmacy2U continues to grow strongly. Last year, 2.3% of the shares in issue were bought back by the company. New investments are being sought for available funds.
Ethical housing investor Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV by 15% to 106p a share in the year to January 2020. Chief executive Joseph McTaggart bought 1,991 shares at 61.75p each.
Hellyer gold mine operator NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £210,000 at 7p a share.
Investment company Primorus Investments (PRIM) has benefitted from the sharp share price rise in Greatland Gold (GGP) and the stake is worth two-fifths of the company’s market value. The current profit is £1.25m. Investee company TruSpine is on course to float in London this year. The spine stabilisation devices developer has gained a new cornerstone investor. Primorus is debt free.
Trading in the shares of Altona Energy (ANR) has been suspended because it has not published its annual report for the year to June 2019. Cash needs to be raised to keep the company going and management says that shareholders will be invited to participate in a fundraising. The company says it expects to publish the report in the next two weeks and blames the delay on a change of auditor and a new accounting treatment for its exploration licences. Final terms for the acquisition of the previously announced new petroleum exploration licence application are being negotiated.
SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) majority shareholder and chief executive David Sumner has also taken on the role as chairman after the resignation of Alan Kitchin and Katie Hiess from the board.
Brickability (BRCK) has acquired McCann Roofing Products for £2.75m. Essex-based McCann imports roofing and building products from Europe and generated a 2019 pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £8.2m. This deal adds additional suppliers to the group and should be immediately earnings enhancing.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has convened the requisitioned general meeting on 3 March. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran and Ewen Ainsworth from the board and replace them with Andrew Morrison. Eridge was previously known as former AIM company New World Oil and Gas. Nostra Terra’s subsidiary has loans that have a key man clause which stipulate that Lofgran has to be president of the subsidiary unless it give consent or there will be a default.
Drug discovery platform developer e-Therapeutics (ETX) has overhauled its board and raised £1.6m at 3p a share. Former Silence Therapeutics boss Ali Mortazavi becomes executive chairman. Ian Ross is stepping down to concentrate his role at Silence Therapeutics. Chief executive Ray Barlow and finance director Steve Medlicott are also leaving. An additional independent non-executive director will be appointed.
Gemfields Group Ltd (GEM) joined AIM last Friday. The share price ended the day at 11.7p.
Bidstack (BIDS) expects to have generated £150,000 from programmatic advertising for video games. That is much lower than previously hoped because it is taking much longer to get advertising agencies to take in-game advertising seriously. There was cash of £3.14m at the end of 2019 following a loss of £5.3m. There was £6m in the bank at the end of June 2019. First half revenues will still be small.
Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Nottingham law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors for up to £8.28m in cash and shares. This follows the purchase of Croftons Solicitors, which is based in Manchester, for up to £2.8m. A new revolving credit facility of £40m has been agreed and it lasts until June 2023.
Octopus Investments has cut its stake in Staffware (STAF) from 13.2% to 0.53%. Gresham House Asset Management increased its stake from 6.7% to 10.6%.
Filta Holdings (FLTA) says it should make an EBITDA of £3.2m in 2019. Cost savings and investment software will help the fryer management services provider to produce a much better performance in 2020.
Keystone Law (KEYS) has traded in line with expectations. Pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £5.1m to £5.7m.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that the FDA has accepted the new drug application for Akindi Sprinkle as a treatment for infants and children. Approval could be gained by the autumn and it will be the only licenced treatment specifically for children. There was cash of £4.6m at the end of 2019.
Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is recommending a 700p a share bid from Infopro Digital, valuing the company at £114.5m. The two companies fit well together and will have greater scale.
Finance provider S and U (SUS) says that its figures for the year to January 2020 will be in line with expectations and trading has been getting better in the past few weeks. The used car market has held up well even though the new car market is week. This is why second hand car finance provider Advance should produce another record performance in 2020-21. Property bridging finance provider Aspen has made the progress hoped because of delays in repayments and the loan book is lower than expected, but it is still a young business. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £35.5m is expected to increase to £39m this year. The latest total dividend will be raised by around 5% to 124p a share.
JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) is raising cash from the placing of up to 49.7 million shares. This will fund a pipeline of investments. The bookbuild will close on 26 February.
Ultimate Products (UPGS) says that sales growth is easing this year with first half revenues 3% ahead at £67.7m. There is also uncertainty about the supply of products from China. Even so, Shore is maintaining its full year pre-tax forecast of £8.77m, a small increase on last year. That could change.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) is widening the geographic scope of its activities by negotiating to acquire an oil production licence in West Africa. Zenith has raised £135,000 through a share issue at 1.5p a share. It has also entered into an equity sharing agreement with a consortium of institutional investors. The nominal amount raised is £810,000, but the ultimate amount will depend on the share price when each tranche is paid over the next 12 months. The benchmark price is NOK0.2231/share, equivalent to around 1.85p. The share price is 1.43p, so the first instalment is likely to be below the notional level if there is no share price recovery.
BATM Communications (BVC) has gained a $1.3m order from a Middle East-based poultry firm for its agri-waste treatment system.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says market conditions are more challenging and there has been a slow start to the fourth quarter, which is normally the strongest. Margins have fallen and profit will be at the lower end of the range of forecasts. The Coronavirus has led to the extended closure of Chinese sites, but this is a small percentage of production.
Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that production at its plants is on hold or preparing to gradual resume production because of the effects of the Coronavirus. The hotel business has been hit by a sharp reduction in occupancy rates.
Avation (AVAP) has made firm orders for two ATR 72-600 aircraft that will be leased to US-Bangla, the largest private airline in Bangladesh.
Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) is raising £3.56m at 4p a share. This will finance the drilling of the Moulouya well in Morocco and provide cash for further investment in Trinidad.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.
Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.
President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.
Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.
ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.
More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.
Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.
Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.
Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.
Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.
A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.
Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.
A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.
Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.
Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.
Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.
Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.
Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.
In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.
In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.
Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.
IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.
Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.
N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.
Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.
Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.
Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.
Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.
Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.
There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.
Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.
VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.
Formation Group (FRM) has been repaid its £5m loan for a development in Wembley and it retains a 40% share of the profit of the development. This cash has been used to invest in acquired a 3.44% stake in Proton Partners International, which has an operational proton beam therapy centre in South Wales with two more sites planned. A treatment unit in Abu Dhabi is expected to be launched in 2019.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has loaned £600,000 to TG Engineering, which supplies steel and aluminium components to the aerospace and scientific sectors. The Dorset-based company will be 35%-owned by Capital for Colleagues and 20%-owned by the employee share ownership trust. The rest of the shares will be owned by the original founders and management.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) intends to focus on its main projects in Ireland. The interim loss was reduced from £99,000 to £75,000. There was net debt of £35,000 at the end of 2017.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has agreed to acquire a 21% stake South African fertiliser and plant products wholesaler VIPA Holdings. Block is paying £150,000 for new shares and acquiring £610,000 worth of existing shares in return for 748.5 million Block shares. VIPA is loss-making following the withdrawal of a major international trading partner. The ongoing focus will be fertiliser and the investment in Advanced Agricultural Holdings will be unwound with the 221.6 million shares issued as initial consideration returned to the company.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £500,000, at £22 a share, in Engage Technology Partners. This follows an initial subscription of £400,000 at £15 a share. Primorus owns 3.6% of Engage, which builds SaaS-based employee workflow software.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) had £272 in the bank at the end of 2017, but since then £179,000 has been raised at 0.5p a share. There was £120,000 generated from operations in 2017 but that was due to a £143,000 increase in creditors. An investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000, while the NAV was £58,000 at the end of 2017. The property is being sold for £235,000 and a £5,000 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) has raised £500,000 via subscription at 0.75p a share. The cash will finance a new office in Dubai. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £51,000 at 0.15p a share. The 84.7%-owned Flamethrower has acquired National-Preservation.com, which focuses on British railway heritage, and has nearly 10,000 registered users. Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £40,000 from an issue of 5% unsecured irredeemable convertible loan notes and a further £10,000 could come from the exercise of warrants. Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £590,000 from a debenture issue, taking the total raised to nearly £6m. The accounting reference date is being changed from March to September.
In 2017, Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
DHAIS (DHAP) is leaving NEX on 18 April, nearly ten years after joining the market. The business is being streamlined and the focus is organic growth of the hearing aid operations. Shareholders owning 78.9% of DHAIS agree to the withdrawal so the company does not have to hold a general meeting.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is raising up to £11m at 190p a share in order to finance the launch of the Alkindi hormonal disease treatment for children in Europe and complete the development of Chronocourt in Europe and start a phase III study in the US. IP Group is converting its loan into shares.
Shares in VR Education (VRE) immediately went to a premium when trading commenced. It raised £6m at 10p a share and the share price ended the week at 12.25p. More than two million shares were traded during the week.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold Enables IT back to the founder for £1, while retaining a 19.9% stake. 1Spatial has also injected £150,000 into the business and loaned a further £85,000. The group will be able to focus on its geospatial data operations, which are performing better than expected. 1Spatial is on course to approach breakeven in the year to January 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is outperforming new and used car markets, although like-for-like sales are still lower. Profit is expected to decline this year but Marshall should be able to continue its progressive dividend policy. There is a significant capex programme but the sale of the leasing business means that net debt is £2.2m.
Pennant International Group (PEN) already has nearly all of the £20.5m revenues forecast for 2018 covered by orders. Pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £2.1m to £3.5m.
Amryt (AMYT) says that sales of Lojuxta were higher than expected last year. The figure was €11.9m, against the forecast €10.5m. There is still €20.5m in the bank.
Futura Medical (FUM) announced positive pharmacokinetic results for higher doses of the MED2002 erectile dysfunction treatment. This will enable US phase III trials to start later this year. There is £8.36m in cash plus tax credits due.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that Cedex Holdings, where it could acquire a majority interest, has launched its token pre-sale event. One Ethereum (equivalent to £437) will equal 900 CEDEX coins. The blockchain-based online diamonds exchange says that there is strong pre-sale demand.
Genedrive (GDR) has started to sell its Genedrive HCV ID kit in the EMEA region. Sales in Asia Pacific should start in the next few weeks.
Consumer security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) improved its pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $6.7m. There is net cash of $69.5m. A 2018 profit of $8.3m is forecast.
Trevor Brown gas cut his stake in Feedback (FDBK) from 11.5% to 9.75%. Lindsay Melvin has taken on the role of finance director.
Advanced foams supplier Zotefoams (ZTF) continues to benefit from investment in capacity and there is more to come. There was growth from all divisions and a good spread of revenues from different sectors. In 2017, revenues were 22% higher at £70.2m, while underlying earnings per share were 14% ahead at 16.6p. The dividend is 3% higher at 5.93p a share. The partnership with Nike to develop footwear technology and supply materials is yet to make a significant contribution.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) returned to profit last year and both its telecoms and biomedical divisions have good growth prospects. There is $24m in cash in the bank.
Sportech (SPO) has ended its formal sales process because no suitable offers were received. Trading has been poor and there will be asset write-offs in the 2017 figures. Andrew Gaughan has been appointed as chief executive.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has acquired Imaging Biometrics for $68,134 in cash and 11 million shares at 4p each, plus $75,000 to cover debt obligations. The final 6.2 million of these shares will be paid by the end of September 2018. The Wisconsin-based company has been managing the CE marking and FDA clearance process for Flying Brands’ StoneChecker visualisation software, as well as commercialising perfusion software IB Neuro, which provides additional information about tumours.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has submitted its application to the International Stock Exchange.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) announced a collaboration that will generate $250,000 for the blood stem cell-based treatments developer. The partner is a US-based leader in the field of blood cancer treatment and the deal involves the development of a type of humanised mice.
Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.
Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.
Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.
UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.
Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.
Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.
Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.
Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.
Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.
Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.
There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.
BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.
Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.
Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.
Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.
Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.
Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.
Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.
Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.
Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.
APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.
Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.
BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.
Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.
Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.
E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.
Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.
Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.
Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.
Blockchain technology Coinsilium Group (COIN) has joined ISDX and raised £1m from a placing at 10p a share. The Seedrs crowdfunding offer raised an additional £123,000 at 10p a share from 161 investors. Daniel Stewart has been appointed joint broker and granted a warrant to subscribe for one million shares exercisable at 20p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 11p, valuing the company at £7.8m.
Renewable energy generator and supplier Good Energy (GOOD) is applying for a dual quotation on the Social Impact segment of the ISDX Growth Market 41 months after it switched from ISDX to AIM. A placing at 85p a share in July 2012 valued Good Energy at £10.6m. The share price has risen to 205p, valuing the company at £30.5m. Since joining AIM, Good Energy has paid dividends of 10.6p a share.
Personal care products supplier Sutherland Health Group (SHGP) reported a small reduction in its interim loss from £38,000 to £33,000 even though revenues fell from £343,000 to £286,000 in the six months to September 2015. Sales to the NHS are declining but online sales are being built up. There was £28,000 in the bank at the end of September 2015.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its annual revenues from £212,000 to £523,000, while unrealised investment gains jumped from £34,000 to £459,000. A pre-tax profit was reported for the year to August 2015 but excluding the unrealised gains there was a small loss. There was an additional £400,000 invested during the year. The NAV was £4.13m at the end of August 2015. A further four investments have been made since then, including an investment in a new company, which takes the total of unquoted investments to 12.
Speciality pharma company Diurnal (DNL), which is an investee company of former AIM company Fusion IP (now a part of IP Group), joined AIM on Christmas Eve. Diurnal was spun out of Sheffield University but it is now based in Cardiff – Finance Wales has a 22.1% stake. Founder Professor Richard Ross is still with the company and owns 3%. A placing at 144p a share raised £25.4m, before £1.6m of costs, and values Diurnal at £75.2m. An additional £4.65m was raised via a convertible issue. Diurnal Ltd, now a subsidiary of the company that joined AIM, had £6m in the bank at the end of June 2015. There are two main treatments in development are Infacourt and Chronocourt, which are treatments for diseases of the adrenal gland. Infacourt is the first product designed for children of less than six years old suffering from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Adrenal Insufficiency. Chronocourt mimics the body’s natural cortisol circadian rhythm which should improve disease control in the same areas as Infacourt. Longer-term, Diurnal wants to become a wider-based endocrinology treatments specialist. There is currently a phase III trial in Europe for Infacourt and a phase III trial of Chronocourt is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016. IP Group still owns 45.6% of Diurnal. The share price ended the first day at 153p.
Den Harthogh is making a recommended 9p a share cash offer for Interbulk (INB), which values the bulk transport container rental business at £42.1m. The bid is more than double the previous closing price. Interbulk has high borrowings – net debt was £53.2m at the end of September 2015 – and they come up for renewal in March 2017. The two companies have a good geographic fit. In the year to September 2015, revenues fell from £256.3m to £225.3m and underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £3.16m.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) is selling its loss-making molecular diagnostics business back to its co-founders. Selah Genomics was acquired for $35.6m in shares during April 2014 and it had been in the EKF balance sheet at £41.4m. The disposal consideration is nominal and the balance sheet value is being written off. There should be annual cost savings of £2m for EKF which will either receive 10% of the proceeds of the future disposal of Selah or if new equity is raised within 12 months EKF will obtain a 10% stake. EKF is borrowing £3m from Zwanziger Family Ventures, where non-executive chairman Ron Zwanzinger has interests, at an interest rate fixed at 5 percentage points above LIBOR. The debt is secured via second charge on EKF’s assets – HSBC has the first charge. The loan can be converted at 14.25p a share – a 20% premium to the market price at the time – or at a 15% discount to the next substantial fundraising.
Paragon Diamonds has not found a new nominated adviser and its quotation will be cancelled on 29 December. Paragon is still trying to raise the cash to bring the Lemphane kimberlite pipe project in Lesotho to production and trying to obtain an exploration licence for the Mothae kimberlite resource. Management hopes to obtain another London quotation later in 2016.
Non-executive chairman Peter Johnson and his interests have sold 50.2 million shares in Park Group (PKG) at 65p each. This is the whole of their 27.3% stake. Artemis has increased its stake to 6.16%, while Schroders has raised its stake to 13%.
Castle Street Investments (CSI) is in negotiations with a potential IT managed services acquisition but the cash shell has failed to secure an acquisition within 12 months so trading in the shares has been suspended. Cash, excluding liabilities should be £22m at the end of 2015 but further cash will be required to pay for the acquisition and finance its growth.
Tracsis (TRCS) is selling its Australian business to its management. This company became part of the business after the Sky High acquisition. Tracsis will focus on its core markets and it does not believe the Australian data capture operation, which made a pre-tax profit of £250,000 on revenues of £2.2m in the year to July 2015, has critical mass. The initial payment is A$285,000 with deferred consideration of A$799,000 payable over three years.
The board of ISG Group (ISG) says that the 143p a share bid from Cathexis does not offer an adequate premium for control. The argument is that the level of the offer does not reflect recent growth and future potential of the fit-out business. Investment company Cathexis took its 29.6% stake at a much lower share price.